Alice Walker Urges Alicia Keys To Boycott Israel

Alicia Keys has been under fire for a July 4th concert that will take place in Israel. Keys will be playing the show as part of her current world tour but several organizations have asked the star to cancel the show due to ongoing conflicts between the Israelis and Palestinians. Because of Israel’s history of violence against Palestinians, many American artists have outright refused to perform there. Although Keys has not addressed if she is going to cancel her performance, there have been pleas via petitions and from organizations like BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).

Alice Walker has now joined the conversation by penning an open letter to Keys, asking that she research Israel’s history against Palestine and cancel her performance:

“Dear Alicia Keys,

I have learned today that you are due to perform in Israel very soon. We have never met, though I believe we are mutually respectful of each other’s path and work. It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists. You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people. Google Montgomery Bus Boycott, if you don’t know about this civil rights history already. We changed our country fundamentally and the various boycotts of Israeli institutions and products will do the same there. It is our only nonviolent option and, as we learned from our own struggle in America, nonviolence is the only path to a peaceful future.

If you go to my website and blog alicewalkersgarden.com you can quickly find many articles I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own. Under a campaign named ‘Brand Israel’, Israeli officials have stated specifically their intent to downplay the Palestinian conflict by using culture and arts to showcase Israel as a modern, welcoming place.

This is actually a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil. You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity. Greed. It is a vast eye-opener into the causes of much of the affliction in our suffering world.

I have kept you in my awareness as someone of conscience and caring, especially about the children of the world. Please, if you can manage it, go to visit the children in Gaza, and sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist.

With love, younger sister, beloved daughter and friend,

Alice Walker”


What do you think about the letter? Should Keys cancel the concert?

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  • Chipster

    To the original question – No!

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  • Black People

    Middle Easterners and Palestinians are no ally to blacks/Africans worldwide. Israel is hardcore racist towards blacks though. Forced sterilization on African women of all ethnicities; Ethiopians, Sudan, etc. Forced shootings at their border. Israel even made deals with Egypt to shoot black Africans at the border. Massive racist demonstrations are like clockwork in Israel for the removal, detainment, and arrests of black Africans in Israel. See, if Alice Walker had wanted Alicia Keys to protest Israel over that, I wouldn’t have any problem. But the mere fact that another race comes before black Africans again is painful to bear. Why are black people always marching, fighting, and demonstrating for other races worldwide, but the same people couldn’t give a damn about black people. Once again black people put other races over themselves worldwide. Genocide and ethic cleansing in Sudan, Congo, and other places in Africa, Papua Guinea has genocide and ethic cleansing, and in South America ethic cleansing and mass murder happened in Columbia and Brazil by state police. Do black people care about these atrocities? Do Palestinians? Do Jews/Israelis? The only people who are going to care for black people are black people. No one else. Black people support every race, help every race, and love every race except their own. But other races on planet earth have no problem watching blacks get annihilated.

  • Go Easy on Her

    I’ve never been a big Alice Walker fan, but I have to say something about this thread.

    I’m a little taken aback by the harsh, ad hominem attacks many of you have made. You don’t have to be a fan, and you can certainly criticize her, but her personal relationships are hers to struggle through. Few people handle relationships perfectly.

    I wish her well.

    • Anthony

      I don’t think too many of us would look good if the details of our personal relationships were known to the public.